I think the urge to crunch came with finding out we were expecting our first child. I originally anticipated a lot of things about his birth and how we would raise our first child: I wanted a "natural" (read: intervention- and drug-free) birth, even though it was my first child, I was intent on breastfeeding, we weren't going to circumsize him, we were going to use cloth diapers (without easy access to a washer or dryer, by the way), we were going to make our own baby food .. The list went on for a while. I had taken on the idea that being a crunchy family would be easy.
Naturally, Fate had other ideas. Our firstborn proved a stubborn creature, and it took 36 hours of labor, the maximum dose of pitocin I could be given, and a lot of frustration for all involved to bring the little bugger into the world. The whole thing was a badly-managed battle further confused by my inadequate, ill-educated "support team" (my mother, a medically-minded LPN who fully believes in the power and purpose of modern medicine, and my dear, sweet husband, who knew exactly as much as I had told him and nothing more). Our first few weeks at home were the rollercoaster ride from Hell: the baby was severely jaundiced and my milk never came in enough to sustain him, our cloth diapering dreams were destroyed by our extra four days in the hospital (our minds, as new parents and confused twentysomethings were admittedly elsewhere), and the first month or so was generally unpleasant. We ended up the stereotypical American parents, feeding formula after being told breastfeeding wasn't a viable option, using disposable diapers left and right, and trying to come to terms with when and why everything stopped going according to plan. I resolved, then, to try to do things differently the next time around, if I was destined to be given a second chance.
Unexpectedly enough, two years after the birth of our first child, we found out that we were expecting again. During the pregnancy we resolved to do things differently, and in homage to the spiraling economy we played our parts as irresponsible consumers and moved (albeit by force; our apartment was being torn down) into a small house we can't afford. We reacquired the washer and dryer my husband had been keeping in storage in his brother's basement, made a few new commitments, and started over again.
So who are we and what are we doing? Well, my name is Kayleigh (or Kay). I've been with my husband, Colin, since February of 2000, although we've been married since April of 2007. We met over the Internet in 1999, and in 2002, Colin moved 1600 miles from his home state of Maine to live closer to me here in Illinois. Our first child, Gabe, was born in March of 2007, and at the end of July of this year, we welcomed our second child and second son, Alex. I am 23 and celebrate my birthday on Earth Day in April; Colin is 25 and will continue his journey toward middle age (he hates it when I say that) in September. We seem to constantly be in the midst of financial turmoil, although that isn't the focus of this blog. Mostly, I note this as a warning, in case anyone notices that I seem to mention our financial problems a lot. The bad thing is that we have extremely limited resources when it comes to what aspects of our lives we can "crunch". The good thing about this is that we're not alone in this aspect, and I hope that I not only give ideas on going crunchy (which can sometimes require a sizeable initial investment before you see the eventual return) on a limited budget, but that other crunchy moms share their ideas with me as well.
So, for now, join me in the journey to being crunchy, and even if you're just along for the ride, I hope you enjoy the trip. I know I will.